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Bland Street Station Art

Location: Bland Street Light Rail Station

Artists: Shawn Cassidy, Leticia Huerta

Date: 2007

Media: Steel and Aluminum, acrylic, tile, pavers

Artist Info: www.leticiahuerta.com


Story:  Federal Transit Administration Circular 9400.1A encourages the inclusion of art in transit systems. According to the circular, "Good design and art can improve the appearance and safety of a facility, give vibrancy to its public spaces, and make patrons feel welcome." In other word, design matters. For the LYNX Blue Line, up to 1% of design and construction costs was set aside to create public art. CATS Arts in Transit program hired artists as part of design teams. The resulting art is often functional, and integrated into the architecture.


Shawn Cassidy, a professor of art at Winthrop University, designed the leaf patterns for the station track fencing. Artist Leticia Huerta designed the windscreens, column mosaics, and the paving pattern on the platform. 


Key Formal Elements:

  • Organic shape of the leaf contrasts with the strict geometry of the fence and tracks
  • Repetition of patterns in the mosaics and windscreens

Make the Connection:

One of the design themes of the public art on the LYNX Blue Line is a focus on nature. Cassidy fabricated 40 sculptural leaves to be inserted into the track fencing. A different species of tree that is native to this area is featured at each station. At Bland Street, Cassidy sculpted oak leaves. Look closely at the leaf. The interior vein pattern is a street map showing the location of the station and its surroundings. Can you find your spot on the leaf?


Huerta uses the familiar image of a rose.  Rose vines intertwine on the windscreens and rose blossom appears on the column mosaics. Can you see roses on the paving pattern?

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"River Rock"

Location: Bland Street Light Rail Station

Artist: Hoss Haley

Date: 2007

Media: steel and concrete

Artist Info: @hosshaley


Story: Asheville-based artist Hoss Haley designed the large seat along the edge of the platform. 


Key Formal Elements: 

  • Smooth texture
  • Organic shape 

Make the Connection:

Haley titles his work “River Rock,” as though it is a rock sculpted to softness by centuries of rushing water. Much of his work requires the viewer to question what they know about the material they are viewing and how they think that material looks. His work transcends the material of steel and concrete, and creates a weightlessness that suggests you could pick it up and toss it into a river.  

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Power Station & Tower Illumination

Location: Charlotte Rail Trail beside Bland Street Station

Artist

Date

Media: 12 LED Lights

Artist Info:


Story:  This is a Charlotte Rail Trail project.  The Charlotte Rail Trail is a public/private venture that sponsors a variety of unique projects along the 3.5-mile-long walkway of the LYNX Blue Line. Projects range from murals to sculpture, functional art to “yarn bombing,” and just about everything in between.  This project was funded by both Duke Energy and Beacon Partner and consists of the powerstation and the tower. See it at night, where according to the team that created it, there are 16,000 color possibilities. 


Key Formal Elements:

  • Project uses the entire visual spectrum 
  • Time

Make the Connection:

Light art is its own genre of art. While experimentation with light is integral to photography and video art, light art became a dedicated art form in the 1970s largely due to the pioneering work of artist James Turrell. In this location, the light art compensates for the unfortunate location of necessary infrastructure, and enlivens the area at night. While watching the light show, make sure you turn your gaze back to uptown and experience the lights of Charlotte’s skyline.

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Pre-Historic South End Brontosaurous

Location: Charlotte Rail Trail near Park Condos

Artist: Amy Hart

Date: 2016

Media: Found metal

Artist Info: www.amyhartdesign.com


Story: Another Charlotte Rail Trail project, this sculpture was funded by a private donation and an @historicsouthend Place Making Grant with the support of the Park Condos HOA. Amy Hart is a “found object sculptor.” She has a BFA from Syracuse University in surface Design and Metalsmithing. 


Key Formal Elements:

  • Variety rules in this free-standing sculpture
  • Use of negative space

Make the Connection:

Found objects in the history of art are associated with the French term, “object trouve.” This creative endeavor applies to art that is made from products not normally considered as art materials. Pablo Picasso, early in his career, and then Marcel Duchamp with his series of “ready-mades,” were pioneers in found object art. What found objects can you see in this sculpture? Why do you think this artwork is affectionately known as “Bicycle-osaurus?”

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Bland Street Concrete Reliefs

Location:  Bland Street Light Rail Station

Artist: Alice Adams

Date: 2007

Media: Molded Concrete 

Artist Info: www.aliceadamssculpture.com


Story:  Renowned public artist Alice Adams was hired by CATS Arts in Transit as a lead designer for the LYNX Blue Line. Her contribution here is the design for the reliefs on the cheekwall. The cheekwall is the low wall that separates the station platform from the light rail tracks. 


Key Formal Elements:

  • Relief sculptural type, meaning the design projects slightly
  • Texture

Make the Connection:

Again, it is nature. Working with the theme of indigenous trees and plant life, each pre-cast concrete mold is a different tree leaf.  All South End stations feature the “Hornbeam” tree, which is a flowering hardwood tree with a pleated leaf and serrated edges. 

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"Fowler Porch"

Location: Bland Street Light Rail Station

Artists: David Furman, Centrocity Works, Fabrication by Ben Parrish, Steel Design Studios

Date: 2018

Media: steel

Artists Info: @centrocityworks, @steeldesignstudios


Story:  Another Charlotte Rail Trail project, "Fowler Porch" was funded by Beacon Partners, the owners of the adjacent Fowler Building.  This project consists of a see-saw and the sculptural fence hiding the parking lot. 


Key Formal Elements:

  • Flowing, loose lines of the sculptural fence create a sense of implied motion
  • Charlotte Rail Trail projects use the color yellow to bring unity to the walkway

Make the Connection:

Go ahead, sit on the see-saw. You know you want to. 

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Bland Street Water Basins

Location: Bland Street Light Rail Station

Artist: Nancy Blum

Date: 2007

Media: Bronze

Artist Info: www.nancyblum.com


Story: Nancy Blum, accomplished artist and recipient of the prestigious Pollock-Krasner Grant, created these whimsical water fountain basins. As part of CATS Arts in Transit, Blum designed these 18-inch diameter cast bronze basins as functional water fountains. They are installed at 13 light rail stations on the Blue line. 


Key Formal Elements:

  • Texture of the bronze
  • Repetition of the blossoms and inscribed lines creates unity

Make the Connection:

The design of the water basins is based on dogwood tree blossoms. The flowering blossom of the dogwood tree was designated as the North Carolina state flower in 1941. Its white or pink blossoms are incredibly common throughout our area during spring. The inscribed background design is based on the mathematical Fibonacci sequence, found in a variety of trees and flowers, and generally of a spiral nature. 

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"Dream Keepers"

Location:  1507 Camden Road at the Powerhouse

Artist: Yuriko Yamaguchi

Date: 2007

Media: Bronze

Artist Info: www.yurikoyamaguchi.com


Story: Artist Yuriko Yamaguchi is a professor of studio art at George Washington University and an accomplished contemporary artist. For CATS Arts in Transit, she created four small bronze sculptures which are attached to the top of a short wall running parallel with the Powerhouse building. 


Key Formal Elements:

  • Actively textured pieces. Be sure to touch!
  • Repetition of four uniform pieces creates unity

Make the Connection:

Here the artist is interested in giving you a familiar object at first. But as you begin to examine the pieces, they start to seem ambiguous and you are left trying to figure out exactly what they are. What about each piece makes it seem familiar? What makes it mysterious?

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"Urban Eddy"

Location: 1507 Camden Road at the Powerhouse

Artist: Carmella Jarvi

Date: 2018

Media: Vinyl

Artist Info:  @carmella.jarvi


Story: Local artist and Charlotte native Carmella Jarvi received a Creative Lab grant from @historicsouthend to complete this project. A micro-grant program, Creative Lab projects seek to enhance the public realm of the South End Neighborhood. Jarvi is a glass artist and made 13 glass rounds for this project. She then photographed each piece and printed them onto vinyl. The vinyl is now attached to the glass of the Powerhouse building. 


Key Formal Elements:

  • Cool colors are the main color scheme
  • Circular shapes resemble water droplets

Make the Connection:

Jarvi works in kiln glass, which is glass that is fired many times in a kiln to achieve her desired look. She likens the process to painting with glass as it takes many layers of glass to create the translucent feel to her artwork. Jarvi is inspired by water, and uses this project to bring elements of nature into urban South End. In fact, nature is a common thread running through many of the pieces on this artwalk. Can you recall other artworks on this walk that are inspired by nature? Why is it important to bring nature into the city? How is the placement pattern of the piece connected to the theme of water?

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"Branch Lines"

Location: 1507 Camden Road at the Powerhouse

Artist: Norie Sato

Date: 2010

Media: Painted stainless steel with LED lights

Artist Info: www.noriesato.com


Story: Artist Norie Sato is a Seattle-based public artist who creates context-driven, site-specific artworks. This project was funded by the Arts & Science Council, the Public Art Commission and the City of Charlotte. A pair of sculptures each with three graceful intertwined steel poles are topped with short sections of railroad tracks and circular tracks. 


Key Formal Elements:

  • Three dimensional and free-standing sculpture
  • Unity of the three stationary poles contrasts with the chaos of the tracks

Make the Connection:

Charlotte is known as the City of Trees. According to www.treescharlotte.com, the public passion for our tree canopy has led the organization to set a goal of 50% tree canopy coverage for our city. This support of trees goes back to the planning efforts led by urban designer John Nolen who incorporated trees in his early 20th century plans for the city. While using the form of a tree, Sato creates conflict by adding the industrial train tracks of progress. She creates balance in her sculptures, but can our city find that balance in our modern growth efforts?

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Neighborhood Sign

Location: Intersection of Camden Road and South Tryon Street

Artists: Hollis Austin, Mark Doepker, Elizabeth Palmisano and ACSM Inc.

Date: 2018

Media:

Artists Info: @austinlettering, FB @markwdoepker, @ellafaeart, www.acsminc.com


Story: This collaborative public art project and signage was commissioned by Beacon Partners. Utilizing an old sign, the developers worked with @historicsouthend to find artists who were able to turn the sign into a marker for the neighborhood and art. 


Key Formal Elements:

  • Relief sculpture
  • Functional art

Make the Connection:

The artists used old street maps of the area and compared them through different growth eras. Many changes have occurred beginning with the underground mining that took place in the Gold District, to the early streetcar suburb days, to the explosion of residential and business growth happening now. Through those changes, the main structure of the area has remained the same.

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Elder Gallery Sculptures

Location: 1520 South Tryon Street

Artists: Lasha Khidashelli, Edward Belbusti

Date: 2014

Media: Sandstone on white marble base, metal

Artists Info: @khidashellilasha, FB @EBArts


Story:  @elder_gallery_clt represents a variety of contemporary artists with an emphasis on fine glass art and paintings. They regularly feature changing exhibits and host a monthly art program open to the public. Artist Lasha Khidashelli is originally from the Republic of Georgia and created the white marble sculpture located under the name of the gallery and the metal sculpture by the door. Architect and sculptor Edward Belbusti explores tension and structure in his work and created the sculpture in the grassy area near the intersection. 


Key Formal Elements:

  • Texture
  • Organic shapes /Geometric shapes

Make the Connection:

Take the time to compare and contrast these three sculptures by two different artists. How you do you experience the artworks? Are you able to walk around them and explore them from different angles?  Free-standing artworks gain dimension as the viewer observes the art from different sides. How does your view change?


Abstract and Non-Objective are good terms to use when you are viewing art that does not look like something you recognize in real life. All you see are shapes and form.  Sometimes when viewing abstract art, you can attempt to make comparisons to something in real life. Maybe you see some basic forms of a figure in the white marble sculpture. Maybe not. Often for the artist, the meaning of the sculpture has more to do with the material and his mastery of creating forms with delicate voids, surfaces, and textures for your enjoyment.  So enjoy! 

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Tavern on the Tracks Mural

Location: 1411 S. Tryon Street

Artist: Skott Marsi

Date: 2018

Media: Acrylic paint

Artist Info: @skottmarsi


Story: Dubbed the #1 Bills and Michigan Bar in Charlotte, NC, the Tavern on the Tracks covers their side wall with a large mural by Miami-based artist Skott Marsi. 


Key Formal Elements:

  • Primary colors red and blue are the color scheme
  • Large overlapping crown is a focal point

Make the Connection:

Football. Charlotte. Bar. It all goes together. The large crown of the Queen City dominates the side wall while the mascot for the Buffalo Bills rushes in from the side. 

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"Color Forest"

Location:  Along the Rail Trail between Bland and Carson

Artist: Ivan Toth Depea

Date: 2018 

Media: Aluminum poles in concrete

Artist Info: @depenastudio


Story: Another Charlotte Rail Trail project, this work consists of 100 colored aluminum poles of various heights anchored along both sides of the Rail Trail. Depena, a public artist with degrees in architecture, teaches at Queens University of Charlotte. His work bridges art and architecture and embraces the intersection of technology and media. 


Key Formal Elements:

  • Uses the entire visual spectrum
  • Time and motion

Make the Connection:

As you make your way through the poles, you become aware of how many ways there are to experience this artwork. You can experience this artwork very slowly, and as you walk and approach the poles, different colors slide into and out of view. If you are running or commuting on a scooter, you will have an entirely different experience of the artwork. If you whizz by on the light rail, the colors blend together completely. 

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"Edna's Porch"

Location: 213 E. Palmer Street

Artist: David Furman, CentroCity Works

Date: 2016

Media: steel

Artist Info: @centrocityworks


Story: “Edna’s Porch” is another Charlotte Rail Trail project. Architect and urban planner David Furman and his @centrocityworks spearheads some of the work on the Charlotte Rail Trail. His support of South End growth has been central to the success of these projects. 


Key Formal Elements:

  • Functional art provides seating
  • Charlotte Rail Trail projects use the color yellow to bring unity to the walkway

Make the Connection:

The Carson Boulevard light rail station is the “front porch” of the South End area, because it is the first station outside of center city. Furman uses the concept of a porch as inspiration for this seating area and gathering place and adds a twist by deconstructing the porch. Inspired by his grandmother’s porch, Furman inverts the traditional gable of a porch and constructs benches with rounded seats. Perhaps this is a nod to the combination of old and new, historic and modern, in South End. Have a seat and enjoy the view from the front porch of South End.

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Carson Boulevard Station Art

Location: Carson Boulevard Light Rail Station

Artists: Shawn Cassidy, Leticia Huerta

Date: 2007

Media: Steel and Aluminum, Acrylic, tile, pavers

Artist Info: www.leticiahuerta.com


Shawn Cassidy, a professor of art at Winthrop University, designed the leaf patterns for the station track fencing. Artist Leticia Huerta designed the windscreens, column mosaics, and the paving pattern on the platform. 


Key Formal Elements:

  • Organic shape of the leaf contrasts with the strict geometry of the fence and tracks
  • Repetition of patterns in the mosaics and windscreens

Make the Connection:

At the Carson Boulevard station, Cassidy sculpted magnolia leaves. Look closely at the leaf. The interior vein pattern is a street map showing the location of the station and its surroundings. Can you find your spot on the leaf?


Huerta draws upon the history of this area for her integrated station art. The Carson station is close to the Gold District of South End, named after the discovery of gold and the operation of gold mines in the area during the 1800s. Within the theme of gold mining, look for the small “gold nuggets” on the platform and the gold color on the column mosaics. The process of gold mining is her subject matter on the wind screens. Can you spot the water, as well as the reference to panning for gold?